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04.2010

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedHealth

PALE ALES GOOD FOR THE BONES

Milk may do a body good but your bones could also get a boost from having a beer or two. According to a recent study, beer is not only a good source of dietary silicon, which is key for bone health, but the silicon levels vary depending on the type of beer and the malting process used to produce it. Researchers at the UC Davis performed chemical analyses on beer’s ingredients and measured the silicon content of 1OO commercial varieties. Pale-colored malts had more silicon than the darker beers. Non-alcoholic beers had the lowest silicon level. “Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon,” lead researcher Charles Bamforth told LiveScience.com. “Wheat contains less silicon than barley because it is the husk of the barley that is rich in this element.” A beer drinker could get 3Omg of the nutrient from just two beers. There’s no official recommendation for daily silicon intake, but most individuals in the US get between 2O and 5Omgs daily. Bamforth and his colleague, Troy Casey, of university’s Department of Food Science and Technology, wrote about their analysis in the February issue of the journal of the science of food and agriculture. Of course, drinking beer exclusively to build stronger bones is not recommended. Rather, consider it a potential bonus for the bones.

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